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Warning Building Occupants of Fire Hazards

12th Oct 2023

Warning Building Occupants of Fire Hazards

Fire safety should be a top priority for everyone, be that at home, in an office or at industrial premises. Yet despite the huge amount of information available, many people remain unaware of the potential fire hazards surrounding them.

In 2022, two hundred and eight people were tragically killed in building fires but there were over two and a half thousand who needed hospital treatment. Recognising these figures and the very real dangers they represent is the first step in creating a safe environment for all.

1. Faulty Wiring: The Silent Threat

One of the main causes of fires, especially in older buildings, is outdated or faulty wiring. Over time, wires can deteriorate and connections can become loose.

If you notice flickering lights, frequent circuit breaker trips or charred outlets, it's a clear prompt to get an electrical inspection. Remember, always hire a certified electrician for such work.

2. Overloaded Power Blocks

In the digital age, where almost every gadget requires a plug, it's tempting to overload power sockets. This can cause wires and terminals to overheat and catch fire.

It's so important to ensure your extension leads and power blocks have a British or European safety mark, and NEVER daisy-chain them.

3. Combustible Items Near Heat Sources

We always stress the importance of keeping flammable materials away from heat sources. This includes not just open flames but also radiators, heaters and other appliances that generate heat. Even something as seemingly innocuous as a tea towel left near a hob is a potential fire risk.

4. Careless Smoking

Cigarettes are still a major fire hazard. Embers and lit cigarette ends can easily ignite furniture, bedding or other flammable materials. If you or someone in your building smokes, ensure they do so outside and always fully extinguish cigarettes… preferably in a fire bucket.

5. Cluttered Exit Routes

In the event of a fire, a clear exit route is essential. Regularly check hallways, stairwells, and other exit points to ensure they are free from obstructions.

Even a small pile of toys or boxes can become a significant hindrance in a panic situation.

6. Malfunctioning or Absent Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are the first line of defence against fires. They can alert occupants to a fire in its early stages and thus save lives. Check them regularly, change batteries at least once a year and replace the entire unit every ten years.

Are you prepared in case of a fire emergency? Equip your team with essential knowledge! Join our Staff Fire Safety Awareness Training now.

7. Unsafe Storage of Flammable Liquids

Many households and businesses store flammable liquids such as cleaning agents, fuels or solvents. These should be kept in their original containers, well-sealed, and stored away from sources of ignition.

8. Neglected Appliances

Faulty appliances are another leading cause of fire. Regularly check and maintain appliances, looking out for any signs of damage to cords, plugs or the device itself.

If an appliance starts making unusual noises or emitting strange odours, disconnect it and check it immediately. Smartphones can be a real danger in this respect, especially if the charging cable is worn or faulty.

9. Lack of Fire Safety Education

One of the biggest fire risks is a lack of awareness. Everyone should understand basic fire safety protocols. This includes knowing the location of your nearest fire exits, how to operate fire safety equipment and regular fire drills.

10. Ignoring Fire Risk Assessments

Fire Risk Assessments are the law for a reason. For businesses, a fire risk assessment is not just a legal requirement; it's a great way to identify and fix potential fire hazards. Carrying out regular risk-assessments and - more importantly - acting on what they suggest, can prevent potential disasters.

Fire safety requires a proactive approach. While it might seem time-consuming or even overly cautious to continually monitor and rectify potential hazards, the consequences of neglect can be life changing. By being vigilant and prioritising safety, building occupants can not only protect themselves but their neighbours, colleagues, and loved ones.

Red Box Fire Control are experts in this field, and are always on hand to help you with fire safety. Remember prevention is ALWAYS better than cure.

Our business is about saving lives and property. Stay safe and make our business, your business!  Contact us today!

Red Box Fire Control is proud to celebrate over 35 years in the fire safety industry.

Over this time we've grown in knowledge and expertise, focussing on supporting businesses with their compliance in a friendly yet efficient manner.

We are confident that we're able to provide our customers with a high level of professionalism and industry insight. Add to this our commitment to integrity, and when it comes to fire safety you can expect peace of mind unmatched by other suppliers.

Learn More Download Non-Domestic Guide

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